With Andrew Friedman now on board as the Dodgers team president, it is only natural to wonder if another key component of the Rays' success for most of the last decade would follow him to Los Angeles. But don't expect Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon to join the Dodgers any time soon.
At least not for 2015, anyway. Maddon has a contract through 2015, though through a few reports he sounded like someone wanting to stay put in Tampa Bay, beyond next year.
"I'm a Ray, I've said it all along, I want to continue to be one,'' Maddon told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay TImes. "I still believe ... it's the best place in all of baseball to work but I also stand by fact that ballpark needs to be improved.''
Topkin added this:
Maddon said there "no rush" to get an extension done as he wants to give the revised administration time to get comfortable. "I don't really look to go anywhere else,'' Maddon said.
Maddon is 754-705 (.517) in nine years as manager in Tampa Bay, after serving 31 years in the Angels organization, including 13 as a major league coach.
He also told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, "I want to continue to be a Ray, absolutely" and "I'm really embedded here pretty well."
Then again, what else is Maddon going to say. He's under contract with the Rays and knows the Dodgers wouldn't be able to say anything publicly, at least, to avoid tampering rules.
There is also the small matter of the Dodgers having a current manager in place in Don Mattingly, who has two years left on his deal. Per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
Asked if Mattingly would return as manager next season, Kasten said: "That's my expectation, absolutely, but you'd have to ask Andrew that. We have a lot of stuff that we're not going to discuss with you, but you should expect Donnie to be here."
It's understandable that Friedman might eventually want to bring in his own manager, just like the Dodgers ownership group brought in the leader of baseball operations they wanted, eventually.
But that fits with Mattingly's timetable anyway, as he likely will need to win - by whatever nebulous meaning - in 2015 to avoid the hot seat - or the wobbly chair as Sam Miller and Ben Lindbergh at Effectively Wild might call it - anyway.
Friedman's influence might better be felt in the background, not that hiring a general manager is a minor move. But more with the infrastructure of the team, building the type of organization the ownership group has pushed for.
From Shaikin's piece, Maddon opined that the Dodgers' financial advantage over the Rays could be exploited in the analytics department, for instance:
"You'll have all the advanced thinking in the game," Maddon said, "all the metrics, all the data. You'll be on the cutting edge of everything. You'll be able to afford any mind or any machine, to create whatever edge you can."
Mark Saxon of ESPN has more from CEO Stan Kasten:
"I'd say when I got here, maybe we were near the bottom," Kasten said, summing up the state of the Dodgers' analytical efforts. "I'd say now we're easily middle of the pack, but you know, we're the Dodgers, so I feel we should be leaders and I know we will be because we're on that path. Andrew will be helpful there, but he's not a one-trick pony. I think it's unfair to characterize it that way."
Maddon added this about Friedman:
2 things to know..he is the best at what he does, and loves sushi ! A great friend...wish him and Robin the best !! pic.twitter.com/Q8jPQhYGrf— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) October 15, 2014